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Shrinkwrapped set of 2 vols. of The Invention of the White Race by Theodore W. Allen from Amazon -- CLICK HERE
Shrinkwrapped set of 2 vols. of The Invention of the White Race by Theodore W. Allen from Barnes and Noble -- CLICK HERE
Jeffrey B. Perry, “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy,” "Cultural Logic" (2010). Addendum (pp. 114-7) discusses how "Daedalus" handled it.
For a discussion of some organizing and activism by postal workers see Jeffrey B. Perry, "The Centrality of the Struggle Against White Supremacy -- 'THE MAIL HANDLERS UNION AND THE FIGHT AGAINST RACISM at the National and at the Grass Roots Level'" (1989)
In the Archives clicking on a month will show the posts published during that month.
Eric Banks, "Hubert Harrison: A Pioneering African American Book Reviewer," can be found in "Critical Mass: The Blog of the National Book Critics Board of Directors," May 8, 2009
Theodore W. Allen's, "Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race," editd and with an introduction by Jeffrey B. Perry.
"Harrison Redux" by Scott McLemee at the "Columbia Journalism Review" website discusses the Hubert Harrison biography while focusing on Harrison as a book reviewer.
Mark Naison, "Why The Harlem Tradition of Radical Street Speaking Needs to Be Revived: The Street as a Site of Political Activism, Entrepreneurship and Community Building in African America"
Scott McLemee: "The resurrection of a pioneering cultural journalist" -- at the History News Network -- on Hubert Harrison as a book reviewer
Socialist Party USA, Mayday 2009 Issue of "The Socialist" offers announcement (p. 3) regarding "Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918." On May 1, 1912, Harrison spoke before 50,000 people at the SP's rally at Union Square.
Theodore W. Allen, author of ''The Invention of the White Race,'' audio interview by Chad Pearson (in two parts) May 13 and 20, 2004 (scroll down to May 13, 2004 for Part 1 and May 20, 2004 for Part 2).
Frank Huzur offers some thoughts on Hubert H. Harrison and the elections in India in his May 16, 2009 blog post.
Jeffrey B. Perry Blog
December 9, 2015
Which came first, racism or slavery? In the post-World War II era of national liberation upsurge, a related controversy has occupied much attention of American historians. One side, the "psycho-cultural" side, holds that white supremacy is "natural", the result of an "unthinking decision"; that it derives from human attributes not subject to effective eliminative social action. The other side, the "social" side, believes that racism arises from socio-economic, rather than natural, conditions; that (at least by implication) it is susceptible of elimination by social action.
Evidence of early instances of enslavement of Afro-Americans is stressed by the "psycho-cultural" school as proof of the "natural antipathy" of white and black. On the other hand, as Jordan (foremost of the "psycho-culturals") puts it, "Late and gradual enslavement undercuts the possibility of natural and deep-seated antipathy towards Negroes . . . if whites and Negroes could share the same status of half freedom for forty years in the seventeenth century, why could they not share full freedom in the twentieth." (Winthrop D. Jordan, "Modern Tensions and the Origins of American Slavery," Journal of Southern History, vol. 28 , pp. 19-30, loc. cit., p. 20.)
Of all the historians of the "social" school whose work I have read, only the black historian Lerone Bennett, Jr., in his article, "The Road Not Taken," Ebony, vol. 25 (1970), no. 10 (August), pp. 70-77, and in Chap. III of his new book The Shaping of Black America (Chicago, 1975), succeeds in placing the argument on the three essential bearing-points from which it cannot be toppled. First, racial slavery and white supremacy in this country was a ruling-class response to a problem of labor solidarity. Second, a system of racial privileges for white workers was deliberately instituted in order to define and establish the "white race" as a social control formation. Third, the consequence was not only ruinous to the interests of the Afro-American workers but was also "disastrous" (Bennett's word) for the white worker. Others (such as the Handlins, Morgan and Breen) state the first two points to some degree, but only Bennett combines all three.
Although I learned of Bennett's essay only in April 1975, the same three essentials have informed my own approach in a book I have for several years been engaged in writing (and of which this present article is a spin-off), on the origin of racial slavery, white supremacy and the system of racial privileges of white labor in this country.
The comparative study of the systems of social control in the various slave-labor plantation colonies in the Americas, combined with a study of Bacon's Rebellion, its origin and aftermath, can contribute much to the resolution of the question, in favor of "deliberate choice" and against "unthinking decision." In the continental plantation colonies (Virginia was the pattern-setter) the Anglo-American ruling class drew the color line between freedom and slavery on race lines; any trace of African ancestry carried the presumption of slavery. The same Anglo-American ruling class drew the freedom-slavery line differently in Jamaica and Barbados (as did other European ruling classes elsewhere in the Americas). The poor white became not only economically, but politically and socially, marginal in the British West Indies generally. In the southern continental colonies the bourgeoisie came to base their system of social control upon the white proletarian and semi-proletarian and subsistence agricultural classes. In the southern plantation colonies the free person of any degree of African ancestry was forced into an illegal or semi-legal status, as a general rule. The same Anglo-American ruling bourgeoisie deliberately created and nurtured this group as a petit-bourgeois buffer-control stratum in the Caribbean island societies. These are all decisive differences which cannot be explained on the basis of "psychology" or "English cultural heritage."
Finally, and more important, while the Anglo-American bourgeoisie had, by their prior experience in Providence Island and Barbados, learned the profitability of equating, or seeking to equate, "Negro" and "slave," the masses of European (at that stage almost all English) bond-servants in Virginia had not accepted that point of view. Instead, they intermarried, conspired, ran away, and finally revolted in arms together with African bond-servants. Racial slavery could not have existed, and did not exist, under those circumstances. Under such circumstances, to attempt to solve the "labor problem" by increasing the number of African bond-servants, reducing them to hereditary lifetime servitude, and making them the main productive labor base of the society would have been like trying to put out the Jamestown fire with kerosene.
"The Developing Conjuncture
and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen
On the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy"
by Jeffrey B. Perry